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So, are cats really only for the well-to-do?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
In another thread, someone mentioned that cats are really only for people with money. Personally, I don't think owning a cat has anything to do with money, but with its environment and degree of love and affection it receives.

My 22-year-old Tabby I put to sleep this past Christmas (which was strictly an indoor cat, but had tons of windows to watch birds and squirrels, etc) had virtually zero problems his entire life. An occasional eye infection every 5 or so years, one tooth that had to be pulled, and his last year kidney failure, but really nothing at all. He got a lot of attention, lived in a clean house, and wasn't abused, and lived a LONG and happy and event-free life.

My current 5-year-old female has also had virtually no problems. Sometimes an eye infection (which goes away by itself in about a week) and a slight hairball problem, which I've solved by using IAMS hairball treatment for the past few months. She's also in a clean, loving, non-abusive environment, and has access to windows where she can watch what's going on outside.

Then, there are the OTHER pet owners in my area who spend thousands and thousands of dollars on vet bills, to troubleshoot problems with their pets, and most never actually get their problems solved. I think they worry too much every little thing that happens to their cat, and end up doing too many tests, trying too many treatments, and ultimately stressing out the cat and doing more harm than good.

Yes, I love my pets, but their bodies DO have their own means of dealing with health issues, and often it's better to let them cope with and fight off certain ailments than bring them into a disease-infested vet hospital where they're liable to develop other problems.

I'm NOT saying you should let your pet lay in the corner suffering. But realize there ARE degrees of acceptable "misery" your cat can deal with on his own, which will only make him stronger and less likely to get sick in the future. You just gotta have a little faith in their immune system and not panic at the first sign of something strange.

For example, my 5-year-old developed a bald spot under her eye, and it concerned me for a number of weeks because it wasn't getting any better (but it wasn't getting any worse). So, I just kept an eye on her for any changes in behavior, and none were present. Still full of energy, very playful, ate and drank just fine. Five weeks later, her hair grew back and she was "normal" again.

I think cats easily pick up on a person's stress in life, tension in a household, etc, and that directly affects their health. Speaking from firsthand accounts, all my friends who have a hard time making ends meet, or have stressful jobs, etc, have cats with problems. The ones who are happy and have little-to-no stress in their lives, have cats with minimal-to-no problems.

The point? I'm not sure. Be watchful but not worrisome of your cat, and don't rush to bring them to the vets because of a sneeze... Cats are strong creatures...

BTW, in the case of fleas, I don't think that's something you should just let "run its course." Flea dip 'em or use that Advantage stuff to get rid of them as soon as possible.
post #2 of 19
While I totally agree with you that most little problems can and oftentimes DO clear up on their own, there are a lot of people who care for cats who might not be as "cat-aware" as you seem to be, Cryogenix. In the instance of people new to caring for cats, this advice could prove to be deadly.

When you serve to counsel people to "look the other way" when a cat sneezes or displays some other seemingly insignificant symptom, you may be allowing a virus to spread to other cats in the household.

I would be very careful of this in the future, Cryogenix. The rule of thumb when a cat displays symptoms abnormal to her usual behavior is ~always~ to see or talk to your vet about it. And then let HIM/HER counsel as to whether or not the cat needs to be seen in the office for assessment.

My continued best to you,

post #3 of 19
Originally posted by Cryogenix
In another thread, someone mentioned that cats are really only for people with money.
I have looked here at The Cat Site and not found such a thread ... can you please tell me where it is?


post #4 of 19
I am unsure of what post you are referring to where someone said cats are only for the well-to-do. But, I will say that having a cat is a responsibility, one that should be met with compassion, good care-taking abilities and the money to handle any emergency that might come up.

To make such a statement that "their bodies DO have their own means of dealing with health issues, and often it's better to let them cope with and fight off certain ailments than bring them into a disease-infested vet hospital where they're liable to develop other problems." Is to do a disservice to these boards and what they are about. Many times, someone new will come on here looking for answers because their cat does not feel well, and should they come across your post and decide they will wait and see, it could prove disastrous. True, cats do have the ability to heal, but modern medicine can sure save them a lot of trouble.

Personally, if my cat is showing signs of "misery" I will make that phone call to the vet and describe the symptoms and let him be the one to tell me if the cat needs to be seen or not. To often cats will exhibit unusual behaviour in an attempt to gain their owner's attention and say "Hey, I don't feel well- what are you going to do for me?" I won't turn away from them during their hour of need, I don't want my cats to be miserable, that is part of my job of being their caretaker. I am on the alert for signs of illness and would wish to stop it before it turns into something ugly and turns into something that cannot easily get stopped.
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
I will always consult a vet if something is truly strange or my cat is acting unusual in a serious way. Never said NOT to.

I also said NOT to let your cat suffer in a corner, but seek treatment only when necessary, as you may subject your cat to greater potential problems from diseases acquired at a vet hospital, such as those 20+ cat owners who recently lost their cats in Los Angeles to a "mutant virus" which they contracted at at the vets because an infected feral cat was treated, and it spread to other places and animals.

I speak only from experience in my above-post. I watch my cats carefully but do NOT over-react to every small thing that my friends do with their cats. When their vets say "Why don't you bring him on in and we'll check him out," they do. My vet of 24 years knows better than to tell his patients that, unless it sounds serious or the person can't properly explain the problem. Then, he'll say to bring 'em on down.

By acceptable "misery," I was referring to something like an eye infection, which ALL of my cats have been able to get rid of by themselves, with the help my my placing a warm compress over the eye a couple times a day to sooth the area. It's always worked for me. Sure, their eye might look a little red and gunky, but they're still active, happy, eating, etc, so why subject them to a hospital and the stress for something their immune system can (usually) easily handle?

The thread that started me on this thread was NOT about the topic I'm talking about. I think it was about a stray cat or something. Don't remember. It was just a brief comment made by a poster in the midst of talking about something else, and it made me think of how many problems some people have with their cats, and how much money they spend, when it seems that I have never run into any such difficulties, and I do NOT neglect my cats in any way.
post #6 of 19
C- for the well-to do? No! I do not think so. I do not have a lot of money, but I will choose to let a bill go unpaid or to have spaghetti yet another night to care for my animals when they need Vet attention. I have 8 kitties in the house right now and 1 dog. Their health needs come before my own at times. When I adopted them (or they, me) I took on a responsibility to care for them for their life time. There are other ways sometimes to deal with little money.

Last year, I was able to purchase the vaccinations from Dr Foster's catelog and self administered the yearly shots here at home. I could not take all the cats into the Vet's at that time.

Ripley suffers from Chronic Herpes virus. He is up to date on his vaccinations and I have a supply here of ointment for him when his eye acts up. His runny eye is the only symptom that he still has - even though we went thru a whole year of added Vet bills and
antibiotics, etc to get him to this point!

I think my point is that responsible pet persons need to know their pets and to seek medical attention when needed! None of us here has anything but the best interest of our pets in mind when we post about the importance of seeking medical attention!

Thank you for listening to my point of view on this.
post #7 of 19
This post reminds me of this woman who brought her cat in for an exam. Before the doctor entered the room I questioned her on why the cat was there. She was up to date on vax, already had her physical for the year and appeared to be quite healthy. She said that her cat had hissed at her other cat a couple of times and was worried something was wrong because it was out of charactor for her.

So by now you're thinking that cats can get grumpy with each other just like people and this lady is wasting her time and money. The doctor exsamined the cat anyhow and upon feeling the stomach he stopped... He found a mass. Turns out the cat had cancer and this was probably the reason why she was grumpy with the other cat.

I guess it's best that you know your own cat well so any physical or behavioral changes can be noticed. It's also a good idea to get to know how your cat feels so if any lumps pop up you can guess how long they've been there and if anything serious hopefully have it treated.

If there is ever any question please call your vet. You don't always need to bring the cat in but most good veterinarians are glad to give you free advice over the phone.
post #8 of 19
First of all I can see where someone would say that pure breed pets are for people with money. Mainly because what I've heard is that they are more prone to illness. This could be wrong, I've never owned a pur bred animal in my life. Currently I have a 16 year old cat that has become somewhat expensive because she had Chronic Renal Failure. However, every thing I do for her I do by choice. She lived over 15 years with no illness at all, so I would say that she was not expensive at all. I will admit the vet bills at first when she was diagnosed were expensive & by no means am I well to do. However, I do not think of cats in general as a pet for well to do people. In general cats have good health & are very proficent at fighting off illness. I would venture to say an indoor only cat is probably cheaper because there is less need for heart worm & flea treatment. Also, I was told that if my cat is indoor only (which believe me she wants nothing to do with outside)that certain vacinations are not necessary. (She is also the only cat in the house) I do believe that indoor cats are less expensive than dogs. My sister was fostering a dog for a while & the cost of toys & food alone was much more than the cats she & her room mate have. I have other friends with dogs, if you've ever seen the cost of dog toys & treats you'd be amazed. I'm a single woman living alone & I know that my baby is not long for the world it is my intention when she passes to pay to get her ashes back & then give myself some time to greieve her loss & go right out & get myself another cat. I think people make choices about what to spend thier money on & for me the companionship of a cat is more important than things like a DVD player, or a new stereo. It's a matter of priorities.
post #9 of 19
I completely agree with Rang_27 and Debra. It's all a matter or priorities. I'm certainly not well-to-do, but I would do whatever it takes to make sure my cats are happy and healthy. Sure, I had more money when I first got them, but just because I'm tight financially doesn't mean that they are getting anything less because of it. I will go without in order for them to get whatever they need.

BTW, Cryogenix, I do remember the original thread you are referring to. Just so no one thinks you are going nuts...
post #10 of 19
Are you sure you read that cats are for well to do people here??? I read every post there is, and I've never seen that.

Anyway that doesn't matter anyway. I do have an opinion on this though ( don't I always ). I don't believe you have to be rich to have a cat, but you should be able to afford the expenses that may come up. This isn't just for any cat, but for pets in general. I mean if you can't make ends meat, then why would you get a pet and not be able to provide for it?? That makes no sense. I'm not going to reveal who, but there was a member here a long time ago who didn't have enough money to even feed herself, let alone a cat. Someone suggested very gently that she find the kitty a new home, and I think she did. That is the kindest thing for the animal and herself too.

I am not rich, but I have enough funds to pay for anything that may come up w/ my kitties. They go regularly to the vet for check ups and vaccinations, they get fed, they have toys that I buy for them.

I know there are people who can't afford it, but what do they do when their animal gets sick?? What happens when they suddenly have a $500 vet bill?? You should be able to at least have some "fund" set aside just in case. You never know when something may happen and the vet is a necessity.
Just my opinion, ever so humbly.
post #11 of 19
I also remember a thread with some discussion of this expense of owning a pet; I believe it dealt with the expenses we incur at the vet. I have had several pets at all times since I got married. At no time have I had enough money to be careless with it. I have had to put medical expenses on a credit card at times. Nevertheless, when my animals need to see a veterinarian, that's what they do. I cannot compare that cost to the joy and companionship they have brought me. There are people who run to the doctor every time they have a hangnail, so I assume some people might be that way about their pets. Nevertheless, better safe than sorry.
post #12 of 19
I guess I've learned my lesson the hard way. Things like pets are just luxuries for rich people!
That's what Cryogenix was originally posting about. I think the lady who posted it was very frustrated when she posted it because of misdiagnoses of the cat in question, which obviously makes the vet bills go up. It was in the thread Kitty Under House Arrest. Just so we are all on the same page...
post #13 of 19
Thanks Heidi for clearing that up. I will say it again, pets of any kind are a responsibility and if financially you cannot afford to offer the best care, then perhaps pet ownership is not for you. ( I am not directing that comment at you Heidi) just in the reader in general.
post #14 of 19
I know that sometimes it can get expensive to provide veterinary care for an animal. What I do is plan ahead by setting aside a certain amount of money from each paycheck which will be used for veterinary expenses only. So far, this has worked really well, I am always able to provide my pets with the care they need.
post #15 of 19
Sadly, there are many people out there whom feel that unless you make LOADS of money and have thousands of dollars stashed away for a rainy day, then you don't diserve to own a pet.

The last dog we owned. I got a lot of fireballs thrown at me because they didn't feel that $7,000 saved up was 'enough money'.

I say that if you can provide a warm loving home with food, thats better than an animal not having a home or having one where they are abused/neglected. And thats all that matters, how many outfits and 10 thousand leash's you can afford doesn't!
post #16 of 19
IMO any person should be able to have a pet as long as you can take decent care of it. I have a friend that has 2 dogs, 2 ferrets, 3 cats (working on a fourth) and fish. (now keep in mind she works at a low paying job and so does her hubby) She has 2 children and another one the way, has a house that is way to pricy, have no money from each paycheck, can't afford their bills or house payments, haven't gotten their animals shots until recently because of a run in with animal control, have the 3 cats unspayed, and 1 dog unspayed cause they want to breed her once to "calm her down". recently one of the animals was hit by a car and they needed to come up with the money to "fix him" it was really pricy but they somehow managed to get it and get him all the stuff he needed but still now he is home, can't walk without help.they can't take him back cause they can't afford to,
and they haven't paid any bills again. now mind you their 2 kids are ADD and they can't get their meds because they don't have the money. So the kids suffer, the animals suffer, and my point? Who wins here?
I'm sorry but IMO they shouldn't have animals. they can't afford the things they have now, and bringing an animal in just makes it harder.
Maybe I am wrong here, but that's just the way I feel. If you can't make sure they have proper vet care, then you shouldn't have them.
I know sometimes it is unexpected vet care, but I am talking about routine shots, spaying, checkups. things like that. Maybe I expect to much?
post #17 of 19
Barb - NO I do not think tht you expect too much here! Your description is a prime example of people that should NOT own a pet!
post #18 of 19
Barb: Nope your right, there are restrictions on who should/shouldn't own pets. But just because not everyone can feed their pets this food that cost $30 for 6 lbs doesn't mean you should own animals.

But by all means you need to be able to afford to take care of YOURSELF and your kids before you pile any animals on top of that!
post #19 of 19
That's what I am saying. Ok if you can't afford 30$ food for them that's fine, as long as you CAN afford food for them!IMO these people are horders. They used to have 2 rats, and Iguana and a wild rabbit(taken from it's mom at our work place, No the mom was fine, they just came back and took it. We had them running around in the parking lot and so we put on gloves and took them to the field behind work where their momma was waiting for them)that all die under"mysterious"
circumstances. Actually the Iguana had scratches on it's stomach and they never bothered to have a vet look at them. they just put peroxide on scratches. That's probably why it died. The rabbit was probably scared to death( I mean comeon, a wild animal with 2 ADD kids?) and the rats, who knows. I shudder to think about it.
Noone at my work place will tell me now if they get animals cause I lecture them about how they can't afford them and they shouldn't be getting animals that they won't take care of.
I had another co- worker that threw her all declawed cat outside cause it peed on her carpet and then blamed me when it disappeared. God i wish it was me! but it wasn't. I only hope it ended up in a good home. Now they have a NEW kitten! and when it accidently peed n the carpet, she rubbed his nose in it and then justified it to me as if it is good enough for a dog, then it is good enough for a cat.
BTW: did I tell you I had REALLLLYYYY stupid co-workers?
Another one (the aboves son) has a kitten and is getting another one, to go along with his dog(st bernard), kitten, 3 kids, wife and himself in a three bedroom house....I will give him credit though because when his mom threw a dog out of her house, he took it in and took care of it. I am not sure what ever happened to it though. It just left one day I guess.
God the horror stories I could tell you! I just bite my lip and keep from exploding when they come in and tell me that they got new pets.
Finally just recently they got the hint that I didn't approve of their behavior and now they (finally) don't tell me when they get new pets. I just wish there was a way to tell someone what is going on in their houses without them knowing it was me. That's the problem. I dont' approve of the way their animals are treated but I sadly can't do anything because they'd know it was me and things would be bad for me both at work and outside of it too. I am hoping that soon one of their neighbors will get sick of it and call animal control. until then I am stuck between a rock and a hard place..
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